Knowledge is power when it comes to your car's battery and electrical system. In fact, it's your ride's heart and soul. The last thing you want is to be left stranded on the road with a dead battery, and ruining a family outing or delaying important meetings. It is absolutely the worst experience ever!
Most car owners do not realize the importance of their car batteries until they fail or break down. If you can grasp the basics, you'll have fewer battery problems and likely benefit from increased battery performance, reliability and life-span.
In this article, we will cover everything from general battery knowledge to maintenance guide and what you should do when you suspect a weak or dead car battery.
1. How does a Car Battery work?
A battery is a device for storing electrical energy in chemical form, which is then released as direct current in a controlled manner.
Most Zr-Zuric car batteries are lead-acid batteries, also known as SLI (staring-lighting-ignition) batteries, which means that they have positive and negative electodes made of lead compounds in a dilute sulphuric acid electrolyte.
When the starter-motor is connected across the battery, a current flows through and causes the battery to discharge, turning the chemical composition of both electrodes to lead sulphate. The resulting electrical energy and voltage is what put your car and its electrical components into action.
Car batteries can be charged by allowing a current through them from an external source of electricity, such as a car alternator or battery charger. These devices allow the conversion of the lead sulphate back to their original chemical materials of lead dioxide and porous lead.
2. Understanding Battery Specifications
• JIS /DIN
JIS stands for Japanese Industrial Standard. JIS batteries are commonly used for most Japanese & Korean vehicles.
DIN stands forDeutschesInstitutfürNormung (German Industrial Standard). DIN batteries are suitable for Continental vehicles and selected Korean makes (E.g. Kia/Hyundai).
• Maintenance-Free (MF)
A Maintenance-Free (MF) battery is also known as a VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid battery) or sealed battery. These are a new generation of car batteries designed using the latest improvements in battery technology.
Unlike their predecessors, there is no need to top these up with distilled water. Hence, they do not require constant maintenance by the car owners.p>Battery Express supplies and uses only Maintenance-Free Zr-Zuric car batteries.
• AH / CCA
AH stands for Amp-Hour. It provides a measurement of battery capacity and is an indication of how much energy can be stored by the battery. For example, Zr-Zuric's NS60L battery is of 45 AH. Typically, the higher the AH value, the more powerful and expensive the battery.
However, this does not mean that the highest AH battery is the ‘best'. This is because every car brand and make has its own battery requirements. Using a battery of lower-than-recommended AH values, will result in the battery being ‘under-spec', and significantly shortening the life-span of the battery.
CCA stands for Cold Cranking Amps and is a measurement of the number of amps which the battery can deliver at 0°F for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts (unusable). This is one of the more commonly known battery measurement. When you start your car, the battery needs to supply enough power to the starter-motor and ensure the engine start. If your battery has insufficient CCA, your car won't start. Zr-Zuric batteries range from 335CCA on the smaller sizes to 820CCA on the larger and more expensive sizes.
3. Which battery size/spec should I use for my car?
Every car brand and model has its own specific battery requirements. These can range from the physical dimensions of the car battery compartment tray to the recommended AH/CCA values for the car brand and model. You can find out these information by inspecting your current car battery or your owner's manual.
Battery Express will be able to promptly advise you on the recommended battery size/spec, if you let us know the brand/model/cc of your vehicle.
4. Battery Life and Performance
Over the years, the average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased. Most vehicles now come equipped with clocks, computer systems, alarm systems and more. In Singapore, in part due to our hot climate, car batteries usually have an average lifespan of 1.5-2.5 years depending on the type and size of the battery.
Most battery brands, including Zr-Zuric, Amaron and Bosch, all give up to 1 year warranty, and this is considered to be the norm. However, proper maintenance and regular testing can help to increase your car battery service life.